Can a company force you to use your vacation days when you’re off instead of not being paid?

UPDATED: Feb 17, 2012

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Can a company force you to use your vacation days when you’re off instead of not being paid?

Also, is it legal to cut sick/personal days out for employees?

Asked on February 17, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Arkansas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

1) A company is not required to allow employees to take unpaid days off; it can require them to use PTO they have, such as vacation days, instead of simply taking an unpaid day.

2) The employer may not be able to cut days which have already been earned or accrued, unless their policies made it very clear that they could do this--that in essence, employees did not "earn" days as compensation, but were simply given some days off (like holidays) as a gift from the employer. Otherwise, days which have been eanred would likely be considered part of your compensation received for work already done, so the employer could not take them away.

However, going forward, the company may cut days so that employees do not receive as many in the future, unless there is an employment contract to the contrary.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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